Google regularly makes improvements to its search functionality to surface better sites for consumers. Starting next year, Google will make a change to surface better sites for use on your phone.
After January 10, 2017, Google says that it may lower its ranking of sites that are not as easily accessible to mobile search users. Some examples of layouts that Google believes makes a site less accessible to a mobile user (shown above) include a pop-up that covers the main content, a standalone interstitial that must be dismissed before accessing the main content, and a layout where int above-the-fold part of the page looks like an interstitial while the actual content is below the fold.
Google has also provided examples of layouts that won’t be affected by its new ranking system. Those include a interstitial that doesn’t cover all of the main content, an interstitial for age verification, a login dialog, or a banner that uses “a reasonable amount of screen space” and is easy to dismiss. Examples of those types of interstitials are below.
When you’re using a smartphone to browse the web, interstitial ads can be a pain. That’s especially true because you may only have your finger as a pointing device rather than a stylus or mouse, so it can be difficult to dismiss an interstitial ad and view your content. With Google’s upcoming mobile search tweak, sites with interstitial ads that are annoying and hard to dismiss won’t appear as highly in your search results, so hopefully you’ll run into fewer of them.